Monday June 19, 2017
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Azarenka gave birth to her first child Leo in December last year. — Reuters picAzarenka gave birth to her first child Leo in December last year. — Reuters picPARIS, June 19 — Former world number one and two-time Grand Slam title winner Victoria Azarenka returns to tennis after a year’s absence this week, claiming “I’m ready for a new part of my career”.

The 27-year-old Azarenka hasn’t played since the 2016 French Open, taking time out to give birth to her first child Leo.

“My life has taken a 180-degree turn but I have not lost my competitive spirit,” the Belarusian told reporters at the Mallorca Open yesterday.

“Here begins a new part of my career.”

Azarenka, the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion, gave birth to Leo in December last year.

Her absence from the tour means she is without a world ranking and required a wild card to get into the Mallorca event which starts today.

She faces Risa Ozaki of Japan in the first round of the grass court tournament which will be Azarenka’s only competitive event before Wimbledon gets underway on July 3. — AFP

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